In Time (DVD)
In-Time was released in November 2011 and I saw it at the cinema then recently bought it on DVD and watched it again. So I thought it was about time I reviewed it. It is written and directed by Andrew Niccol. **Plot** The film is set in the future in the year 2169 in a world where currency has been altered and now ... takes the form of time. Human beings have been genetically altered to stop aging at age 25 and a digital clock on their arm (which they are now born with) starts ticking showing a year's worth of time. They then have to earn time by working and use the time to live (use it to buy food and do anything we would use money for). If the clock reaches zero the person instantly dies. Time can also be transferred between people simply by making physical contact arm to arm. Death can only come with either timing out (this can include 'murder' where a person's clock is cleared unwillingly) or by being killed as a result of an accident (e.g.: being shot or overdosing on drugs).
America now has clear divisions which revolve around how wealthy one is. The majority live in Dayton which is the poorest time-zone also known as the ghetto. There are regular deaths in Dayton where seeing a dead body lying the street isn't unusual. Most people in Dayton have less than a day accumulated on their clock, including Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) and his mother Rachel (Olivia Wilde). One can move between different time-zones however to make it to the wealthier areas (the wealthiest being New Greenwich) you have to pay in time to get past the borders and it becomes more expensive the further you go.. It reaches the point where entry to New Greenwich is one year! Therefore movement between time-zones is very rare and unusual.
Will Salas ends witnesses 105 year old Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) get involved in a potential bar fight. Matt is from New Greenwich and has 100 years on his clock, therefore is asking for trouble being in the ghetto. Will saves him and takes him to a safe place for the night where they fall asleep. When will wakes up he has 100 years on his clock and realises these have been given to him by Matt who he then watches commit suicide on a bridge. It isn't long before the timekeepers (police) find out about this and they wrongly assume that Will has stolen the time from Matt and thus killed him.
The film then gets going and Will heads to Greenwich to seek revenge on the rich. This is where he meets the daughter of the richest man in Greenwich Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) who goes on the run with him with the aim to overthrow the system.
Having written out a summary of the plot I've realised that in writing it sounds a bit far-fetched and stupid, but actually it is quite the opposite. When watching the film I thought it was a very clever and interesting concept of a world with a new currency that encourages more corruption and death than our current one. It is clear that the initial concept is very well thought out and everything matches it within the film, thus making it a consistent watch. It is a very dystopic film and goes all out on this and stays serious throughout, yet it wasn't depressing to watch as such.
I liked that the film was bordering on fantasy in the sense that the way this world works is so different from ours, yet it is possible to imagine and in many ways still relates to society and economics today, only more extreme. Therefore it was kind of in the middle between fantasy and reality, so offered a certain level of escapism without being an all-out fantasy.
The plot starts off slowly, giving time to introduce this alternate future world and allowing the viewer to gain a full understanding of it. Yet as soon as the main plot gets going things speed up which reflects the panic felt by the protagonists when their time is running out. Initially I thought the plot might be quite straight forward, but as the film progresses it becomes more complex and gave me something to get in to. It made easy watching and there weren't any major twists as such, but there was enough story for it to be engaging. I often find, even during some of my favourite films, that there is a point where I get a bit tired and either lose interest in the plot, or wish it would finish soon. However in this film it didn't happen. It isn't too long of a film and there is always something going on to keep you interested and keep your attention.
I liked the main characters created by the film and they were easy to relate to and the sort of characters that you want to survive, therefore I found myself rooting for them and genuinely caring for the outcome and their fate. This added a lot to the film and made the watching experience more fun. I also loved the editing used in the film to create this dystopic future world. Everything constantly looked grey and even the scenes in the rich areas were made to look very dark and dystopic. It was really believable and looked amazing, and really complimented the whole film. The soundtrack was also very dark and grinding with matched everything else really well.
The acting in the film was very good. I'm not a great fan of Justin Timberlake and I just can't take to him as an actor, yet I can't deny that he was very good in this film and was easy to watch and natural. I would say it is one of the better roles he has played and whilst the character wasn't challenging as such (due to being quite an straightforward, ordinary person) he still did well throughout. I'm also not a huge fan of Amanda Seyfried yet again I couldn't really fault her performance in this film. It was nothing ground-breaking or particularly memorable, but was natural and she didn't overact which is something she might usually do.
Other cast worth mentioning are Cillian Murphy who plays corrupt timekeeper 'Jaegar'. He makes a really great bad guy and I genuinely disliked him through the film, therefore he pulled it off. Olivia Wilde gave a short but strong performance as Wills Mum Rachel Salas. The film also stars Alex Pettyfer who plays rich Fortis who has formulated a gang and goes around the ghetto stealing time from others. He also plays the bad guy well and creates a cocky irritating character, perfect for the role. Overall the film is well cast and whilst I wouldn't say any of the performances stood out as outstanding and no role was notably challenging, yet they were all strong and good to watch. The concept of the film alone would make it worth watching, but the acting made it even better.
I'm giving this film 5 stars because it was very enjoyable to watch due to the interesting plot and concept which was carried well from start to finish, perfect editing to match the concept and strong acting throughout. It is one of those films I feel I could watch again and again, therefore it is highly recommended.
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X-Men Quadrilogy (DVD)
by Jake Speed
X-Men Quadrilogy contains the original X-Men trilogy (X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men 3: The Last Stand) and also X-Men Origins: Wolverine by way of bonus. If you've ever tried to sit through X-Men Origins: Wolverine you'll realise that I use the word bonus in the loosest possible sense. The X-Men were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963 ... and their comic became one of the most cultish in Marvel's weekly roster of titles. Marvel characters tended to be slightly darker than many of their DC counterparts and X-Men in particular was always laced with social subtext. The bright yellow spandex (sadly discarded for these films) clad superhero team are made up of humans born with the "X-gene". This gene gives them unique powers and abilities but it also makes them feared by ordinary humans. Those with the X-gene are known as "mutants" and the prejudice they face often holds a mirror to our own reality. Racism, homophobia, McCarthy style Witch Hunts. A general fear of diversity and anyone that might be different. Competing for the souls of these mutants are two old friends who are now pitted against one another. The X-Men's kind and wise leader Professor Charles Xavier is a mutant with powerful telepathic abilities and wants humans and mutants to live together in peace. He runs the "Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters" where those with the X-gene are taken in and taught to control their powers with a possible view to becoming X-Men themselves one day. Magneto is an equally powerful mutant who can control anything metallic with his uncanny magnetic abilities. He survived Auschwitz as a child and is determined that mutants will never be persecuted in the same way that minorities were in Nazi Germany. He has rejected Xavier's stance and believes humans and mutants can never peacefully co-exist. Magneto believes mutants are the superior species and should therefore use their abilities to dominate humans.
The comic was wonderfully strange and ambitious at times and memorable arcs like Chris Claremont's fantastic Dark Phoenix saga are still justifiably acclaimed and celebrated. It was inevitable that the characters would make their way to the big screen one day but it took an awfully long time. An X-Men film was first seriously mooted in the wake of the success of Tim Burton's Batman in 1989 but only really gained traction in the latter half of the nineties when The Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer (who had impressed the studio with his handling of an ensemble cast in that film) was persuaded to sign on as the director. Singer was reluctant at first but after reading some of the more famous comics and learning about the history and themes of X-Men he changed his mind. Singer's original X-Men (released in 2000) is hardly the greatest superhero film ever made but it is one of the most important and paved the way for the superhero festooned cinema age that we live in today. The superhero comic book film boom that Tim Burton's Batman was expected to prompt had simply melted away in the late nineties. Batman & Robin had killed the Batman franchise and films like The Phantom, Steel, Spawn and Mystery Men failed to find an audience. Studios now had cold feet about superhero films and Singer had to suffer budget cuts as a consequence - his plans for Danger Room (the holographic suite that the X-Men train in) sequences abandoned along with several characters from the extensive X-Men universe he had intended to use. The major casualty was Beast although he did turn up in the third film in the end. X-Men was still though a critical and commercial success and comic book superhero films were suddenly in fashion again. Within a few years they were everywhere (Hulk, The Punisher, Daredevil, Hellboy etc) and the huge success of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man ensured that this time they were here to stay. So how does Singer's pivotal first X-Men hold up to the test of time?
X-Men begins with a number of prologues that are somewhat confusing the first time one watches the film and also give it a strangely low-key start. Magneto (named Erik Lehnsherr here and of course played by Ian McKellen once the character becomes adult) being separated from his parents at a concentration camp and bending the steel gates in his frustration. Marie/Rogue (Anna Paquin), a young mutant with the unfortunate power of draining the lifeforce from anyone she touches (this of course makes it rather difficult for her to have a boyfriend), runs away from home and in some frosty wilderness nowheresville in Canada meets a man named Logan (Hugh Jackman) in a bar. Logan is the indestructible adamantium clawed and gruffly charismatic Wolverine - a loner with no memory of who he really is. Wolverine reluctantly agrees to give her a lift but they are attacked by Sabretooth (Tyler Mane) - a mutant who works for Magneto. The pair are then saved by the X-Men's Cyclops (James Marsden) and Storm (Halle Berry) and taken to the school for gifted youngsters run by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) at the X-Mansion in New York. As they learn more about Xavier and the X-Men it soon becomes apparent that big trouble is brewing in the outside world. Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison) is an anti-mutant politician who wants to ban mutants from schools. He intends to introduce the Mutant Registration Act to force mutants into revealing their identities. Meanwhile, Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants intends to mutate world leaders at a United Nations summit. Can the X-Men triumph against Magneto and human prejudice?
This is a solid film rather than a terribly exciting one and it does unavoidably seem a trifle low-key in an age when we've had The Avengers and Nolan's Dark Knight series. Much of the film takes place in Xavier's school and I must admit in both this and the sequel my eyes do start to glaze over slightly whenever we are subjected to too many gleaming corridors and Xavier's Cerebro supercomputer - a virtual reality device which amplifies his abilities and helps him to locate people. I like the design of theses scenes but they do become draggy at times. There is surprisingly little action for a superhero ensemble picture at times although Singer stages the climatic Ellis Island (the location has obvious symbolism given the outsider theme) action sequences and fight scenes within the film competently. With a film like this the casting is exceptionally important and thankfully the three leading characters in X-Men are portrayed by actors who all own the roles. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen lend much needed gravitas and enable one to take the picture more seriously than we might otherwise have done, especially when they are onscreen together. Hugh Jackman was a complete unknown at the time and a last minute replacement as Wolverine for the Scottish actor Dougray Scott. Jackman looks nothing like the Wolverine of the comics (who is supposed to be very short and very lupine) but it doesn't really matter. Jackman is an instant film star here and a great Wolverine. Charismatic, tough, feral, athletic, amusing, sensitive when he needs to be. I always feel like Jackman really should have been James Bond.
Famke Janssen is also well cast as the telepathic X-Men mutant Jean Grey and the actress probably deserved more than she got from the writers in this series - principally because Jean Grey is such an important character in the comics and the catalyst for some of the greatest arcs. I have a bone to pick though with the treatment of Cyclops here. In all the X-Men comics I own, including crossovers with The New Mutants and X-Factor, Cyclops (he fires optic blasts through his ruby-quartz eye visor, etc) is the leader of the X-Men and very centre stage. Cyclops is the heartbeat of the X-Men. Here though, he's a minor supporting character and it would get worse as the series went on. Marsden is alright but I can't help wondering if the fact that he was a late replacement for the better known Jim Caviezel had something to do with it. I suspect that if Caviezel had played Cyclops they would have given the character more of a central role. I think Halle Berry as Storm is miscast in these films. She looks great in costume with the white hair but doesn't have enough presence to be Storm and also looks too young. Storm (who lest we forget can manipulate the weather) is supposed to be like some patrician African Goddess. Someone like an Angela Bassett would have been great. Elsewhere, Anna Paquin is ok as Rogue and Rebecca Romijn is certainly memorable as the shape shifting Mystique, Magneto's second in command. Romijn spends much of the film covered in blue paint and the effects sequences where she infiltrates various places through mimicry of other people still hold up relatively well.
Great to see the ever dependable Bruce Davison as Senator Kelly here too. "There are even rumors, Miss Grey, of mutants so powerful that they can enter our minds and control our thoughts, taking away our God-given free will. Now I think the American people deserve the right to decide if they want their children to be in school with mutants. To be taught by mutants! Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that mutants are very real, and that they are among us. We must know who they are, and above all, what they can do!" Hmmn. I wonder what figure in American history he could be based on. I don't know if budget cuts had anything to do with this but Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants is rather disappointing as it only seems to consist of about three people and Sabretooth (who looks about as scary as the Lion in the Wizard of Oz) and Toad (Ray Park) are a bit rubbish it has to be said. Likewise, Senator Kelly is the only real indication of the apparent wideworld fear and suspicion of mutants and I feel this angle to the film could have been broadened. Overall though, this is still a watchable and efficient film - albeit one that has now been well upstaged by the genre it helped to reinvigorate. The Avengers, The Dark Knight, Man of Steel. X-Men is pretty small change compared to the scope of these pictures but it does have solid direction, some terrific actors and even some smart and amusing dialogue (courtesy of screenwriter David Hayter). It's dating fast but X-Men is an admirable attempt as transplanting the iconic comic to the big screen and while the incoherent grandness and sometimes impenetrable nature of the comic is practically impossible to capture in this medium this film is at least respectful to the source material and a decent introduction and set-up for what would be a superior sequel.
X-Men 2 (which seems to have an endless multitude of titles, X2, X-Men 2: X-Men United, X-Men 2: The Return of Michael Myers, X2: Digby the Biggest Dog in the World etc) was released in 2003 and again directed by Bryan Singer. This is the best film the notoriously up and down Singer has made I think and one of the better franchise sequels in recent memory. X2 has more action than X-Men and just feels like a more ambitious film. It also expands the X-Men universe and gives the actors more to do. It isn't Aliens or The Godfather part II but it does improve upon the original and manages to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of making Alan Cumming almost bearable. The film begins with one of the best sequences in the series and one of the best things Singer has ever directed. A group of people are being shown around the White House by agents until one is revealed to be the blue skinned teleporting mutant known as Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming). Nightcrawler uses his ability to teleport to disarm the agents and move around the building. It's a great opening and I love the teleportation shenanigans. BAMF! Nightcrawler attempts to assassinate the President (Cotter Smith) but fails in this task and leaves behind a note demanding mutant freedom. All very strange as Nightcrawler is a kind mutant (in the old Marvel comics I have he's actually a member of the British superhero team Excalibur) so it appears that someone is manipulating him. Turns out that a government operative named Colonel Stryker (Brian Cox) is the big threat to mutantkind now and Nightcrawler's assassination attempt was a "False flag" operation. Stryker now he has the duped President on his side and intends to begin with a raid on the X-Mansion. He wants a genocide of mutants but in order to do that he needs Xavier and the Cerebro supercomputer. Meanwhile, Magneto is being held in a plastic prison cell and a love triangle is developing between Wolverine, Jean Grey and Cyclops. Will Wolverine discover who he really is and can the mutants put aside their differences long enough to stop Stryker's nefarious plans?
There feels like there is more at stake for the characters in X2 and while Singer is never going to be the world's greatest action director the film is driven along by some entertaining sequences. Stryker's night assault on the X-Mansion is nicely done and Hugh Jackman is excellent. He's been left alone to look after the students and soon sniffs out danger before leaping into action and dispatching countless soldiers. Look out for an appearance by fan favourite Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) in this sequence. There is a big effects sequence where the X-Jet is attacked by some F-15s (or something) and Jean Grey has to save the day, possibly at great cost. As ever, the film is at its best when Stewart and McKellen share scenes together and Brian Cox is a nice addition to the cast as the sleazy Stryker, a man who may provide some information about the background of Wolverine. Cox does that slightly hokey Southern accent he does in all films where he's supposed to be American but if it's not broken why fix it. Stryker's Alkali Lake base makes a good location for the third act and you get a decent fight between Wolverine and Kelly Hu as Stryker's personal bodyguard Lady Deathstrike. The film also makes good use of the shape shifting mimic Mystique again and the special effects are impressively seamless at times. Rebecca Romijn even has some good scenes outside of her blue make-up, including one where she dupes a security guard and also posing as Jean Grey in an attempt to seduce Wolverine. Sadly though, Cyclops is rather sidelined again and the actors playing Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro (Aaron Stanford) - two young mutants who will soon find themselves on opposite sides of the fence - are rather cookie cutter and bland. X-2 always strives to be slightly more than a superhero film (and this approach is admirable and at least avoids any risk of becoming one of those juvenile Fantastic Four films) but the attempt to lace drama into the story is of course both a strength and a weakness. It's fair to say Singer's X-Men films lack a certain exuberance and the rush that you'd get from the very best films in this genre. I still like X2 a lot though and it's defonitely the best out of the three films in the first x-Men cycle.
Next is X-Men 3: The Last Stand from 2006. This is a film largely reviled by fanboys for two reasons. First of all it was directed by Brett Ratner (the man behind those dreadful Rush Hour films). Ratner, unfairly or not, is just one of those directors who is always regarded to be a bit naff and rubbish. He could make Wild Strawberries and no one would give him any credit for it. The second reason why X-Men 3 is disliked is because it bungles a chance to do the legendary Dark Phoenix storyline from the comics. This was the fantastic arc by Chris Claremont where Jean Grey is manipulated by the evil mutant "Mastermind" from the mysterious Hellfire Club and her powers grow to a cosmic level. She becomes a God who can destroy worlds and consume stars. The story is a huge sprawling epic that eventually takes us into the farthest reaches of space as the terrible power of Jean Grey's alter ego Phoenix is unleashed and the X-Men must somehow get through to the conscience of Jean Grey that still resides somewhere within the destructive and emotionless psionic cosmic entity Dark Phoenix. Anyway, Jean Grey is resurrected as Phoenix here but basically just stands around in a red dress spewing fire when she's onscreen and you can forget all about going into space. X-Men 3 had a number of problems right from the start. The biggest problem was that Bryan Singer left the series to go and make Superman Returns instead (Brett Ratner was going to direct Superman Returns himself at one point prior to Singer so it was musical chairs) and he took the writers of X2 with him. 20th Century Fox nonetheless decided to rush X-Men 3 into production and also cut the budget. The conspiracy theory is that they wanted to get the film into cinemas before Superman Returns and were sticking pins in a Bryan Singer voodoo doll on a daily basis.
After being turned down by several directors they finally hired Ratner and to be fair to the much maligned director he does a reasonable job considering the cards he was dealt. One always gets the impression that this was made by a studio who were still in a huff about Singer leaving and really couldn't be arsed anymore so the fact that a watchable film emerged is a minor triumph I think. X-Men 3 doesn't have the depth or class of the first two but it's a perfectly entertaining film if you can park your brain at the door. Mathew Vaughn was actually contracted to direct this at one point but left because he didn't like the way the studio were trying to make the film so quickly. Vaughn even cast a couple actors before he departed. Kelsey Grammer is an inspired choice as Dr Henry "Hank" McCoy aka Beast but Vaughn should probably have served a short prison sentence for even thinking of Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut. I don't think it's that bad at all but the "what might have been" factor does hurt X Men 3. Singer had planned to have the Hellfire Club and Sigourney Weaver as Emma Frost. Obviously, given a choice you would rather have had Singer's third film than Ratner's X-Men 3. The McGuffin of X-Men 3 is an apparent cure for mutants announced by pharmaceutical company Worthington Labs. The company is located at Alcatraz Island and soon becomes a target for Magneto (who of course believes this is all a scheme to eradicate mutants everywhere). The X-Men must stop Magneto again but there is also the resurrected Jean Grey to deal with to. She has become the super powerful Phoenix. This film feels much more shallow than the previous two and the social commentary makes way for more action. I have to say though that despite its lowly reputation I actually quite like the action sequences in this film and Ratner is much more at home with them than he is with the drama. You finally get a Danger Room sequence at the start with a battle against a Sentinel (giant robot) and the big action climax on Alcatraz Island with Magneto's crew battling the X-Men and soldiers is highly entertaining.
A weakness is that the more mainstream generic approach this film has does give Patrick Stewart less to do and once again the character of Cyclops is completely wasted. Ellen Page joins the cast as Kitty Pryde, an X-Men member who can run through walls. The character had a cameo in X2 and is used in a vague love triangle with Rogue and Shawn Ashmore's Iceman before becoming more pivotal towards the end during the action. Ellen Page looks terribly embarrassed at times in her leather X-Men costume. Hey, I was just in Hard Candy and now I'm in a superhero costume being chased by Vinnie Jones. Where is my agent? Juggernaut becomes one of Magneto's henchmen in the film and his depiction is a complete travesty. For starters, Vinnie Jones is just a terrible, terrible block of wood and can't act his way out of a serviette napkin. Secondly, Jones wears a rubbish muscle suit and looks nothing like Juggernaut. The character is huge in the comics. He's like The Hulk and is always destroying entire streets fighting Thor or X-Force. He should have been CG in this film. By the way, wasn't Juggernaut a mystic powered character in the comic? "Whosoever touches this gem shall be granted the power of the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak! Henceforth, you who read these words, shall become ... forevermore ... a human juggernaut!" Magneto's other new henchman Multiple Man (Eric Dane) can (as his name suggests) multiply himself and this is used to decent effect in the film for fights etc. The story is slapshod and large parts of this make no sense but if you can forget the Dark Phoenix comics and hypnotise yourself to go into a trance whenever Vinnie Jones is about to speak then I think X-Men 3 is a decently entertaining picture and not the abomination that fanboys declare. One thing I do like about it is that it tries to put its budget up on the screen. The big Golden Gate Bridge sequence bears this out.
By way of bonus here you get the first Wolverine film - X-Men Origins: Wolverine, released in 2009 and directed by Gavin Hood. Everyone likes Hugh Jackman and Wolverine but this is pretty awful by any standards. From the b-list cast to the tiresome CGI, to the all over the place story, Wolverine is a strange, inconsistent and ultimately rubbish film. It's essentially a prequel to the X-Men series and reveals Wolverine's background. Turns out he was born James Howlett in Canada in the nineteenth century and when his father was killed by a groundskeeper named Thomas Logan it triggered his genetic mutation (retractable claws and the ability to self-heal). Anyway, it transpires that Logan was really his father or something and he runs away with Logan's son Victor Creed. Creed is Sabretooth and played here by Liev Schrieber. Is it just me or is Liev Schrieber a really boring actor? He's like America's Daniel Craig. Quite well regarded but monotone dull with no charisma. Wolverine and Creed then fight in various historical battles (it's never really explained why two Canadians seem to be fighting for America) as they are immortal and don't age, not like ordinary people anyway. They are sprung from military prison in 1975 by Major William Stryker (Danny Huston plays a younger version of the Brian Cox character) and asked to join Team X, a special forces team made up of mutants - agent Zero (Daniel Henney), Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), John Wraith (will.i.am), Fred Dukes (Kevin Durand) and Chris Bradley (Dominic Monaghan).
Wolverine finds their work distasteful though and leaves before finding love with Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). But his past catches up with him, leading to tragedy and a collision course with Victor/Sabretooth. But Stryker believes he can give Wolverine an edge in his showdown with Victor. A process that will leave our hero with an adamantium skeleton. This is a strange mess of a film that jarringly shifts through several tones to no great effect and fails spectacularly to give Jackman and Wolverine the solo adventure they deserve. I always find prequels rather tiresome to be honest and the backstory stuff isn't very interesting and skirted over fairly quickly anyway. The film threatens to be stupidly entertaining when Wolverine is working for Team X and has a few good action set-pieces here. I can't believe I'm saying this as someone who suffered through Blade: Trinity but I actually missed Ryan Reynolds as the lightning fast swordsman Wade Wilson when he leaves the film early on. We judder to a crashing halt when Lynn Collins is introduced as the love interest. It's like watching the world's most expensive coffee advert as they live on top of a mountain or something. Turns out Victor is killing members of his old team and Wolverine is soon in danger. Hey, that's the plot of Commando! Stop pilfering. The less than stellar cast assembled here is illustrated by the presence of the rubbish Dominic Monaghan as a "technopath" in Team X. He'll always be Geoffry from Hetty Wainthropp Investigates to me.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is just boring in the end. We know Wolverine got an adamatium skeleton from Stryker so who cares when it finally happened. Attempts at some semblance of drama with the conflicted and anguished Wolverine moping about amidst spectacular scenery are soon undercut by some headache inducing CG nonsense (wolverine takes out a helicopter etc) and his endless fights with Sabretooth are utterly tedious. They run at each through alleyways snarling, throw each about, etc, repeat, etc. Even the introduction of Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) into the film fails to spark much life into proceedings and the depiction of Deadpool at the end is negated by a ludicrous CGI fight atop a big water tower or something. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is pretty poor on all fronts and even Hugh Jackman can't save this one. Still, 2½ out of 4 isn't too bad as far as this collection goes. You get a smattering of extras for each of the films with this set. Bryan Singer interviews, Hugh Jackman's screen test and deleted scenes for X-Men. A couple of audio commentaries for X2 and more audio commentaries, 3 alternate endings and many deleted scenes for the third film. X-Men Origins: Wolverine contains a promo piece and a deleted scene. At the time of writing you can buy X-Men Quadrilogy for as little as seven pounds.
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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (DVD)
**Characters** Many of you may know this by now, but for those who are a little fuzzy or have never watched or read the Twilight series, here is a little about the main characters: Bella Swan: After three films and a lot of drama things are starting to look up for this character. She is engaged. She is finally getting ... the man of her dreams and all the delights that come with it. And after the honeymoon, she is finally getting immortality. She is still as shy and clumsy as ever, but that is the Bella we have grown to know and love.
Edward Cullen: Bella's other half. The gorgeous, talented, perfect vampire. He is getting to marry the girl of his dreams, which he has been waiting a century to do. Still in doubt about whether he wants to consummate the marriage and change Bella into a vampire, he still faces some hurdles.
Jacob Black: The third wheel. The other guy. The werewolf. He is still crazy in love with Bella and will try anything to get her to change her mind about becoming a vampire. In this film Jacob finally becomes a man.
The Cullens: They consist of Carlisle and Esme, the mother and doctor dad of the group. Alice and Jasper. These are some of the gifted members of the family. Alice can see the future. Jasper can control your emotions. Rosalie and Emmett, the most beautiful of the family, but she knows it, and the strongest of the family.
**The Film Plot**
May contain spoilers. So the films begins as characters in the movie receive their invitations to the wedding of the century. Bella and Edwards. Charlie (her dad) is not happy. Renee (her mum) is expectant. And Jacob. Well he's Jacob. He gets mad, takes of his shirt and turns into a werewolf. The wedding, the dress and the flowers are beautiful. Everything is perfect. Once the couple have said their teary goodbyes to their families, the newlyweds head of to a secret location for their honeymoon. Here fans are finally greeted with Isle Esme. An island belonging to Esme Cullen, which was gifted to her by Carlisle. And so the real honeymoon begins. The room is trashed, but Bella is happy. Until Edward notices her bruises. The remainder of the honeymoon Edward spends avoiding Bella's advances and taking her on expeditions around the beautiful island. But things turn sour once Bella vomits. The numbers don't add up, but after feeling a nudging from inside her, Bella confirms her thoughts. She is pregnant. Once the pair are back home, the Cullen family tai sides over what to do with the child. Bella loves it and will not let any harm come to the baby. After Jacob finds out he tells the pack of the news, who launch into a full scale attack. Jacob breaks away from the pack in order to save Bella. But after pushing her body too far, the baby and Bella's life are under attack not just from the pack, but from death too. Jacob intends to kill the baby, but instead imprints. Meaning the rift with the pack is over. Bella however is fighting for her life and immortality.
Extras are always great to watch. This DVD provided footage of the UK premier for the movie. It shows fans meeting the cast, the cast themselves and all other celebrities who walked the carpet that night. There are also behind the scenes videos, showing how the wedding was filmed, as well as the honeymoon and other scenes. True fans of the film will love it.
I am a huge fan of the book and the films. But this film was one of the most anticipated for me. It had the wedding, a honeymoon and a birth. Three things I had pictured in my head, but wondered how they would make it come alive. The wedding scenes in my opinion were gorgeous. The secret dress was beautiful, almost like the words from the book had jumped out and created the dress themselves. The scenery was amazing and the song choice, Flightless Bird American Mouth, from the first movie was slowed down and played throughout. The honeymoon was another great few scenes. Isle Esme was perfect and it really felt they had picked the perfect location. The chemistry between the pair was obvious, but the sensitive and delicate nature of what thy were about to do made the scene touching. And finally the birth scene. It was brilliant. In a gross kind of way. I can see why the cast laughed throughout filming as some of the faces being pulled by each member of the cast were hilarious. But on first watch you are encapsulated by whether Bella will love or die as well as her child. Overall it was an excellent film. It handled some sensitive issues an hard story lines, but made the film even better than I could have imagined.
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Science Fiction & Fantasy DVD
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / To Be Announced / Director: Akiva Schaffer / Actors: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt ... / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / To Be Announced / Director: Rian Johnson / Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano ... / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. / Actors: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Eric Christian Olsen, Ulrich Thomsen ... / DVD released 2012-03-26 at Universal Pictures UK / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Andrew Stanton / Actors: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, James Purefoy ... / DVD released 2012-07-02 at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy / Actor: Jennifer Lawrence / Director: Gary Ross / DVD Release Date: 2011
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / To Be Announced / Director: Timur Bekmambetov / Actors: Benjamin Walker, Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell ... / DVD released 2012-10-22 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / To Be Announced / Actors: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon ... / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / To Be Announced / Director: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger / Actors: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Lennie James, Tim Plester ... / DVD released 2012-08-20 at Entertainment in Video / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Theatrical Release: 2001 / Director: Chris Columbus / Actors: Richard Harris, Maggie Smith ... / DVD released 24 October, 2005 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen - As the first Harry Potter film of the celebrated series,...
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Makoto Kamiya / DVD released 2012-09-24 at Sony Picture Home Ent. / Features of the DVD: Subtitled, PAL
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